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Psychedelic Tree 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Bruce Cooke & TM Herbert, 1968
Page Views: 4,798
Submitted By: 426 on Mar 8, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (45)
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The route on the left is Psychedelic Tree, the one...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


A nice but somewhat dirty route that has a unique topout!

P1-follow steep shallow corners and cracks to a decent ledge.

P2-a short pitch (technical crux) over a small roof to the base of the "Tree"

P3-climb the tree! Step off the top (very airy when windy!!!) of the tree.

Variation: climb 5.11 roof (might be dirty).


100' or so right of the lines on "The Line" lies the start.

Walk off standard east wall descent.

Obvious landmarks are "The Tree" itself.


Standard rack, heavier on smaller stuff. I actually got a 6" tube chock in one time, but it's not very necessary.

Photos of Psychedelic Tree Slideshow Add Photo
Now: No more loose blocks or potential "death...
BETA PHOTO: Now: No more loose blocks or potential "death...
Coming up to the belay of the first pitch
Coming up to the belay of the first pitch
The tree in all its glory
The tree in all its glory
Before: Scary loose blocks and potential "dea...
BETA PHOTO: Before: Scary loose blocks and potential "dea...
A wild finish variation.
BETA PHOTO: A wild finish variation.
Starting up the second pitch
Starting up the second pitch
Good look at the tree and steep top section of rou...
Good look at the tree and steep top section of rou...
Getting into the roof
Getting into the roof

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 18, 2014
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Sep 4, 2007

We did this climb in 2 pitches:

p1: 190' rope stretcher to the good ledge. This pitch had interesting climbing, but I couldn't enjoy it because everything was LOOSE. I probably tapped about 12 holds that wiggled, and another dozen hollow flakes. I thought this pitch was scary and I only followed it. Tell your belayer to take care in case you accidentally trundle something on them. I hated this pitch.

p2: 130' to the top. This pitch by contrast was great! Only a couple small loose things, and fun climbing with varied movement. At the finish you can either climb the tree or finish on the steep roofs which go at a moderate .9 and protect well, really pretty cool!

I've been told you can do Deviate to the ledge, and so avoid that junky first pitch. I think I'm going to try that next time, because the first pitch stunk and the second pitch was great.
By Bill Kelly
From: Lake Tahoe
May 12, 2008

Happy to report, the Line's "Ugly Sibling" had a facejob. No more loose blocks with "unclear attachment" or potential "life threatening ginsu flake chop" on the first pitch. All gone. In its place a lovely section of stemming opportunity that protects bomber. Now your beloved belayer can stand directly below you with greater peace of mind. Now nothing prevents this route from becoming as popular if not more popular than the Line. P.S. Definitely two pitches not three, in my opinion, first all the way to the ledge, second to the top.

Regarding introductory route description: Climbing the tree is the variation. Turning the roof is no harder than 5.9 and protects well.
By Rick D
From: Reno, NV
May 14, 2009

Climbed this yesterday. Most of the big death blocks have been removed from the first pitch. There are still a hand full of smaller loose blocks, just tap the holds before you pull. There is still a good size loose half way up the second pitch.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 20, 2010

FA: Bruce Cooke & TM Herbert, 1968
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 20, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This route is simply superb. It is certainly on par with The Line; not quite as clean but much more sustained and with more technical moves. I would argue pitch 1 is more difficult than pitch 1 of The Line, and the first 40 feet requires top notch stemming technique a la Hospital Corner. To make it all the way to the ledge, the climbing will require you to dig deep in your arsenal of mental stamina and, in my opinion, seemed more challenging than pitch 2.

I only encountered two loose blocks on this route, and although they get your blood going at first touch, they are easy to maneuver around.

Call me crazy, but I thought this wild roof was easier than the roof on The Line! And way more fun!!!! This route is definitely one of my new favorite climbs at the Leap.

By Ben Broche
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 1, 2011

This route is simply stellar, one of the best and most underrated at the Leap. I went up it in fall 2010. There were a couple loose sections on P1 and P2 (check before you go railing off a jug), but really not anything super sketchy.

You do not have to even touch the tree at the top to do this route - not sure if it makes it harder, but there is an absolutely amazing airy mantle finish out rock with great (but blind) pro. I never thought I would do a V0/V1 boulder mantle 500 feet off the ground at the top of a trad climb! The finish makes this fun route simply classic...DO IT!
By Evan Riley
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 6, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Climbed in two pitches with a 60 meter rope. The death blocks were off the wall (and on the ground at the base of the route), but the route was still dirty. If cleaned it would be a leap classic.
By fivefun
Jul 22, 2012

This climb is fun and underrated.

We climbed this route today and it is still in need of some cleaning (I'm happy to help with some instruction). A small amount of suspect rock remains but there is definitely enough for safe climbing. I found the first two pitches to be full on 5.8/9 climbing, comprable to The Line. The roof finish was memorable and exciting. Psychedelic Tree is well on its way to being a leap classic.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 29, 2012

Pitch lengths:
P1: 185' to ledge
P2: ~115' to top
By Bill Kelly
From: Lake Tahoe
Aug 30, 2012

First pitch now has a pin at the crux.

This seems unnecessary as area already protects well.
By BruceB
From: Reno, NV
Jun 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is certainly an adventurous, alpine like climb.

The first 70 or so feet are still quite dirty with a few creaky blocks. After that it improves noticeably, although you'll still find some dirt and plant life. It hadn't rained for a few days but there was still a bit of water here and there (but not on any other routes we did).

Having said that, this is still a great route. Rarely less than 5.8, with a few 5.9 moves thrown in. Keeps you on your toes (figuratively speaking!), with a good mix of hand and finger jams, and face and dyke holds. You won't find much chalk to highlight the holds.

The double roof is amazing. Lots of exposure and a bit spooky as you can't see what's around each bulge. Definitely a grade harder and more wild and exposed than the roof on The Line. Protects well.

IMO, if you plan to do it in two pitches, you'll either need lots of gear, or be extremely comfortable at 5.9.

Do it - and help clean it up!
By snowhazed
From: Oakland, Ca
Sep 7, 2013

I just did this for the first time and thought it was classic. If you have any alpine sensibilities, the looseness if casual and inspires more aesthetic climbing. So good.
By Mike McL
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 18, 2014

A really nice route that protects well. Climbs better than it looks. The first pitch is long and sustained with plenty of interesting stemming. We took the roof finish to P2 and it was pretty wild.
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